Monday, September 1, 2014
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Practice notes: Hargrove, Kelce jump in

After the Eagles signed Cullen Jenkins, it seemed they had solidified their defensive tackle rotation.

Practice notes: Hargrove, Kelce jump in

After the Eagles signed Cullen Jenkins, it seemed they had solidified their defensive tackle rotation.

Jenkins would join Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon and Trevor Laws inside in Jim Washburn's scheme.

But today, there was no Patterson, no Dixon and no Laws.

Patterson has been released from the hospital, according to his agent.

Dixon sat out with a mild knee sprain. And Laws has a hip flexor.

Yesterday, that meant opportunities for undrafted free agent Cedric Thornton. Today, it meant a chance for newly-signed Anthony Hargrove.

On Wednesday, I wrote about how Hargrove might fit in. He had six sacks and three forced fumbles in the last two seasons with the Saints. I asked him if sees himself playing just defensive tackle, or also some defensive end. He said he'll play wherever the coaches want him to play - tackle, end, special teams, whatever.

Andy Reid was also asked about Hargrove and said they are working him in at defensive tackle now, but he can also play end.

The same can probably be said for Jenkins, who was impressive in his first practice. Todd Herremans has been holding his own during one-on-one drills, but Jenkins beat him on more than one occasion today. It'll be interesting to see how the Eagles shape their roster, given the versatility of some of the linemen.

The other big addition on the defensive line was Jason Babin. Babin was the first of the Eagles' signings and has been on the field, but unable to practice, since Saturday. That's 10 sessions - five practices and five walkthroughs.

Today, Babin found a way to release the energy that has undoubtedly been building up when he was forced to just watch. He raced onto the fields, past Casey Matthews and Jon Dorenbos, this morning. He led the way when Eagles defensive linemen moved from station to station. And he was the only player to react when fans let out an E-A-G-L-E-S chant.

MORE PRACTICE NOTES

* The Eagles have been pretty consistent with their linebackers. It's been Casey Matthews in the middle, Jamar Chaney at SAM and Moise Fokou at WILL. Matthews and Chaney stay in during nickel situations. And Chaney stays out there in the dime package with the six defensive backs. The second team at one point today was Greg Lloyd in the middle, Akeem Jordan at the SAM and Keenan Clayton at the WILL.

* The first-team defensive line was Juqua Parker, Hargrove, Jenkins and Trent Cole. Cole left practice early because of cramps, and Darryl Tapp took his place at right defensive end. By the way, my sleeper pick for defensive lineman to excel under Jim Washburn is Parker. He might be the only guy I haven't seen Washburn yell at.

Note: As Sam (formerly of Iggles Blog fame) pointed out, Parker played under Washburn in Tennessee so that probably has something to do with his familiarity/comfort level.

* The second-team defensive line was Babin, Derek Landri, Thornton and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. By the way, Te'o-Nesheim has generally been getting killed by Washburn, but he had some good moments today, and Washburn tried the whole positive reinforcement thing.

* Rookie Jason Kelce has been seeing a lot of time at center with the first team. While I still think it's Jamaal Jackson's job, Howard Mudd obviously sees something he likes in Kelce, who held his own during one-on-one drills against the defensive linemen. I asked Kelce what the deal was after practice, and he said he just goes in when Mudd calls on him. He also added that Jackson has been a great help, and the feeling I got was we shouldn't read too much into the rotation. Sounds like Mudd is just trying a bunch of different guys out for now to see what he's working with.

* To that end, Fenuki Tupou was the first-team right tackle. This could very well be a case of Mudd being unable to find anyone he likes at that spot. King Dunlap began camp as the starting right tackle (today, he was with the third team), then it was Austin Howard, and today, Tupou. I would not be shocked at all if it is Ryan Harris tomorrow. And then Winston Justice at some point, if he gets healthy.

* Harris played right tackle with the second tam, and was joined by Julian Vandervelde at right guard, Kelce or Mike McGlynn at center, Evan Mathis at left guard and Austin Howard at left tackle.

* Tight end Clay Harbor mixed it up with Moise Fokou during a special teams drill. Babin and Jordan were two of the first ones over to get Fokou's back. Clayton and Mathis also went at it once after the whistle.

* The one-on-one cornerback/wide receiver drills aren't really fair right now with DeSean Jackson missing and Jeremy Maclin not participating. Nnamdi Asomugha jumped in front of Chad Hall on one play and picked off Vince Young.

* The education continues for Danny Watkins. He lines up at right guard with the 1s and at times with the 2s. Extra reps can't hurt for the rookie.

* When the offensive linemen practice against the defensive linemen, I've been noticing some stunts from Washburn's group. I don't know if that's something he plans to employ (Eagles typically haven't done a lot of that, from what I remember) or if it was just practice for the offense (they struggled at times picking those up last year).

* In case you missed it, I talked about Asomugha's first practice in a separate post.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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